Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the most critically acclaimed actors of his generation, was found dead in New York on Sunday morning of an apparent drug overdose.
Mr. Hoffman, 46, was found in an apartment in the West Village around 11:30 a.m. by a friend who had become concerned at not being able to reach Mr. Hoffman, a law enforcement official said.
Investigators found a syringe in his left forearm, at least two plastic envelopes with what appeared to be heroin nearby, and five empty plastic envelopes in a trash bin, the official said.
“It’s pretty apparent that it was an overdose,” the official said. “The syringe was in his arm.”
On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Hoffman’s family released a statement saying: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”
As news of Mr. Hoffman’s death spread, fellow actors as well as fans took to Twitter to express their admiration for his acting and grief over his death. Ellen DeGeneres, who will host the Oscars ceremony in March over which Mr. Hoffman’s death is likely to cast a pall, posted: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a brilliant, talented man. The news this morning is shocking and sad. My heart goes out to his loved ones.”
Mr. Hoffman won an Academy Award in 2006 for best actor for his role in the film “Capote,” in which he portrayed the author Truman Capote as Mr. Capote researched the book “In Cold Blood.”
Known for his scene-stealing supporting roles, Mr. Hoffman was nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actor three times: for the 2012 film “The Master,” the 2008 film “Doubt,” and the 2007 film “Charlie Wilson’s War.” He also recently had a role in the hugely popular “The Hunger Games” films.
Last May, Variety reported that Mr. Hoffman had completed a detox program for substance abuse, including snorting heroin. He had struggled with alcohol and drugs as a young man and told the CBS program ‘'60 Minutes” in 2006 that he had been sober since he was 22.
Mr. Hoffman had been acting in films for the last two decades, often transforming physically for each new role. He was prolific as well, sometimes filming several movies in a year and appearing in plays on Broadway.
“I try to live my life in such a way that I don’t have profound regrets,” Mr. Hoffman told The New York Times in 2008. “That’s probably why I work so much. I don’t want to feel I missed something important.”
Mr. Hoffman had three young children, a son and two daughters, with his partner, Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer.
Outside the apartment building where Mr. Hoffman was found on Bethune Street, more than 100 people had gathered Sunday afternoon to mourn the actor’s death. Near the crowd, two men who identified themselves as friends of Mr. Hoffman embraced and cried.
“He’s a local. He’s a fixture in this neighborhood,” said Christian McCulloch, 39, who said that he lives nearby. “You see him with his kids in the coffee shops. He is so sweet. It’s desperately sad.”